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Sep 28, 2011

SMART ready to register phones in accordance with new law

Ian Courtenay

As you are aware, the government is regulating ownership of cellular phones. That means that everyone in your family who owns a cell phone will need to register it, whether or not that person is a minor or adult. The consequence of not registering will be disconnection. The rule applies to both Belize Telemedia Limited’s Digicell service and SpeedNet’s Smart service. With the registration of phones soon to kick in, News Five spoke to Ian Courtenay, Smart’s Public Relations Officer, about how the transition will be applied to its customers.

Ian Courtenay, Public Relations Officer, SMART

“SMART was made aware of this requirement that would be coming in from the P.U.C. so that we have put in place for a little while now the registration of all new customers. We already registered our postpaid customers because of the credit that we give out to them, but the prepaid; we have started to register customers when they come in. So we have a procedure in place that is already being used. The trick of the matter is to get all of the customers who are out there to come in and register because as you know one of the biggest requirements is proof of identity; you know social security card that we will have to keep on file.”

Jose Sanchez

“Now an issue could be, what could you do about phones that are already out there; that you don’t know of? Is it easy to disconnect? After a six months period the government is saying that they will have these numbers disconnected. Do you know what phones are active?”

Ian Courtenay

“Well yes as a general rule, we are aware of what customers because if a phone isn’t used for a specific period of time, we will disconnect and put the number back into our tool. Technically, it is not a challenge to do that and we have the ability to send messages out to our customers informing them that with this new requirement, you would have to come in. And we have put plans in place to try and give incentives for our customers to come in. but I must say that this is something that has been referred to our lawyers and I know there has been correspondence between the ministry and our executive managers as to the authority under which this information si to be shared and given out. Although we will obey whatever laws are put in place, we just want to be sure that the rights of customers are protected and we don’t infringe on our customers rights.”

Jose Sanchez

“How long should this process take if you just come in with your phone and an I.D.?”

Ian Courtenay

“It should take nothing more than five minutes. We will be setting up; once the law is put in place and it becomes mandatory, we will set up a specific desk so that customers won’t have to wait in line behind customers who are actually purchasing phones. To just come in and we need to photocopy an I.D. and put the name to a number. So that will be a short process.”

Jose Sanchez

“Off the top of your head, do you know how many customers SMART has within prepaid and postpaid?”

Ian Courtenay

“Oh well, we are talking over a hundred thousand customers.”

At the end of the six-month registration period, which would be in April 2012, all unregistered phones will be disconnected.

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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12 Responses for “SMART ready to register phones in accordance with new law”

  1. belizeanpride says:

    WELL FOR OUR PRIVACY WE’LL START USING TIGO OR CLARO FROM MELCHOR ON ROAMING SERVICE AND KEEP OUR PRIVACY FROM THIS STUPID IDEA WHICH WILL NEVER CURB THE CRIME. FIRST THE TINT NEVER WORK NOW THE CELL PHONES, IT WILL NEVER WORK AND THE CRIMES ARE BEING DONE ON BIKES PEOPLE HOW STUPID IS OUR GOV. TO BRING SUCH IDEAS THAT DOESN’T WORK BUT AFFECT THE LAW ABIDING CITIZENS. MELCHOR WE’RE COMING OVER TO BUY CELL PHONE PRETTY SOON AND HAVE A GOOD STOCK SINCE A LOT PEOPLE WILL BUY IT DEFINITELY.

  2. ok says:

    yes is good

  3. Barack Obama says:

    Now at least the thief that stole my phone cannot use my number again…

  4. Charlie Price says:

    THIS IS JUST THE START OF BIG BROTHER OPERATIONS…..there is more to come.

    We are now on that “slippery slope”……WHERE WILL THIS END???

    This is NOT A TRUE DEMOCRACY ANYMORE……..

  5. Joe McGuire says:

    Barack Obama the thief already has your phone he can register it under his name instead and your still out of luck.

  6. bzean gal says:

    thats invasion of privacy….the phones are prepaid and its just a chip u are buying….what the hell else will belize do? mein, nothing surprise me any more….instead of passing stupid @$$ laws they shud be ammending the ones we do have to make it harder for murderers and rapists.

  7. someone says:

    Lol @ Joe McGuire!! Very true. This law could be good and bad. Good: facilitates tracking of criminals. Bad: Law abiding citizens better take care cause criminals may be able to access information on business pepole due to corruption.

    Anyway or the other, the one that always looses is the hard working law abiding citizens.

  8. Elgin Martinez says:

    Tracking criminals and yet no convictions at the end of the day is useless.Our problem as it relates to dealing with this crime situation is the lock of convictions.A million arrest with zero conviction is useless.

  9. Liberty and Freedom says:

    Are they going to track Mike Silva when he calls his Dad for more money to live on the run? The GOB takes over the country’s communication system and little by little our right to privacy is lost.
    The American CIA and NSA are experts at tracking phone, email and financial transactions of both criminals and peace-abiding citizens. Since all governments think the common man and woman are stupid, they enact laws that have two meanings and lie to your face (and the press) that this law is to track criminals. The CIA spooks in the big embassy building are supplying all the technology and technical expertise for the GOB to spy on criminals and private citizens. It is going to get interesting……

  10. Diehard Belizean says:

    What a poor bunch.. that is.. Dean Barrow and his stooges. They have tried so many things to curb the crime situation but .. alas.. nada. The last thing was the law against tinted windows…the people had to remove the tint…but no reduction in crime.. it’s guys on bicycle who pass by and shoot.

    And now..BINGO…What a fantastic idea Barrow comes up with. “Let’s control cellphones and CRIME WILL GO DOWN!” Hahahahah…. Hahahahaha…. Hahahahaha!! Man, I can’t stop laughing.
    Ayyy… man… people will still do their crime by phone… they will make good use of the street phones and Guatemala and Mexico phone companies will collect thousands of $$$$$$. Can’t these idiots know this??

    But let me give you a forward idea Barrow will come up…”BINGO again! Let’s control computers, because that’s how criminals do their crimes” And so Belizeans, get ready to have your computers hacked by our own government. This can be done, believe me. They can even know what computer keys anyone is punching. So watch out for this Barrow government!

    Next time I will give you a forward BINGO idea Barrow will come up with. Just wait a little while.

  11. Maira says:

    Since the use of lottery software has become very popular, there are some who scam people and make them pay for products and software that they don’t get. Now walk from the airport rail station 100 feet to the independent train station. For example, if the amount is $100,000, then purchasing a piece of property on Long Island would not make sense unless it is done at a bankruptcy auction and the buyer has a construction background.

  12. Tiffiny says:

    Appreciate this post. Will try it out.

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